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Government to resume post-Cabinet briefing - Veteran journalist welcomes move

Published:Thursday | July 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Claude Robinson

Claude Robinson, communications specialist and veteran journalist, is urging the Government to ensure that post-Cabinet press briefings are held regularly.

Information Minister Ruel Reid indicated in a release yesterday that following recent discussions in Cabinet, a decision was made to resume post-Cabinet press briefings on Wednesday of next week. This comes after repeated calls for resumption of the briefings by the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), which noted the absence of the briefings since November of last year.

Robinson, in his response to yesterday's announcement, said that it was important that the Government bears in mind their responsibility to the people of Jamaica.

"It is my view that the post-Cabinet press briefings have served their useful purpose in informing the country about what is happening in Government. I don't understand why the Government has not had it for a long time," he told The Gleaner.

"I have always supported the call of the PAJ for them to resume. I never understood the argument about restructuring because if you want to reorganise, there was no need to postpone it," he continued.

Robinson added, "I am glad that they have announced to get back on track. We hope the briefing will continue and it will be forthcoming on a regular basis. It doesn't serve the public interest if it only happens once in a while. They have to be forthcoming."

In the release, Reid said that at the meeting of the Cabinet, discussions were held on the importance of reviewing the current framework to ensure that the structures for engagement are appropriate in the context of an evolving media landscape and recognising the importance of providing information to the media fraternity.

"Cabinet restated its commitment to providing timely information to the public through various media, including regular engagement with journalists. It was therefore confirmed that while adjustments to the approach are being fine-tuned, the minister responsible for information, Senator the Hon Ruel Reid, will resume briefings related to Cabinet matters as early as July 11, 2018."